Louis Farrakhan has a gift that no other high-profile bigot has: He is immune from being marginalized by the mainstream left. The Nation of Islam minister was a special guest at Aretha Franklin’s funeral service, standing alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and even former President Bill Clinton.
If you’re not familiar with Farrakhan, he’s an outspoken anti-Semite, homophobe, racist, and misogynist. He has called white people “potential humans,” Adolf Hitler a “very great man,” and literally blamed Jews for 9/11. In other words, he’s a vile human being.
Farrakhan’s presence at the Queen of Soul’s ceremony suggests he has at least a friendly acquaintance of Franklin and her family, so that either she or they invited him. This is not an effort to smear Franklin. She saw something in him that many conservatives apparently don’t.
And she’s not alone. I have Facebook friends who “like” his social media page and share clips of his sermons (well, at least the ones that aren’t anti-Semitic). These are decent people, Franklin included, who lionize him as an icon of the liberation movement, but his advocacy for one group is overshadowed by his bigotry for others.
To this day, many are comfortable enough to publically associate themselves with someone who has a lengthy history of hate. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because the left has never strongly, vocally condemned Farrakhan.
Farrakhan has long been associated with prominent Democrats, most notably Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the Democratic National Committee deputy chair and a candidate for attorney general in Minnesota. For political expediency, Ellison denounced Farrakhan when he was first elected to Congress, but recent revelations suggest he was dishonest about his ties to the minister.
It was only recently that long-lost photograph of Farrakhan posing with Sen. Barack Obama finally emerged, something the journalist who had it admitted he kept secret in order to aid Obama’s 2008 candidacy.
The media, of course, yawns at Farrakhan’s ties to Democrats. The only non-conservative who seems to care is CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who grilled Ellison on his association with the anti-Semite. Yet if George W. Bush had stood alongside former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke at a funeral service, the first thing the media would do is ask the former president if he disavows the bigot, something the media surely won’t force Clinton to do because allies in newsrooms across the country protect Democrats.
Why else would Clinton agree to appear with Farrakhan? A former president must have known who was on Franklin’s guest list and that he wouldn’t face criticism or be called a racist by newspapers and TV pundits like Republicans constantly are. Fortunately for Clinton, several outlets are giving him cover by cropping Farrakhan out of the shot with him, Jackson, and Sharpton, documenting Frankin’s funeral as if he was never there.
Not only is Farrakhan exempt from marginalization by the mainstream media, he’s also exempt by social media. Last month, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was exiled from various platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Like Farrakhan, Jones has a huge following and is full of hate and ignorance.
However, all of Farrakhan’s social media accounts remain intact and he posts anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and homophobic sermons constantly. How on earth is Jones punished for violating these websites’ terms and conditions, and not Farrakhan? It’s because, like elected Democrats, these tech giants simply don’t care since they know they won’t face a public outcry for their double standard.
We saw during the 2016 election how much trouble candidate Donald Trump got in when he failed to disavow Duke for supporting his candidacy. Meanwhile, Ellison and Obama were rubbing elbows with Farrakhan and Clinton, sharing the same dais without facing any blowback.
In the end, the left seems to accept bigotry from the people on their side, while using the same association as a cudgel for people on their political enemies list. And the media will do anything to shield liberals who associate with bigots, all while arguing that Republicans should be purged from public life for doing anything remotely similar.